Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and Senator Brad Hoylman Join Equality NY in Honoring the Life and Legacy of Edie Windsor

Recognition highlights Edie’s leadership during the fight for marriage equality and urges legislators to continue the momentum for equal rights

Albany – Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright (76th AD), Senator Brad Hoylman (27th SD), and Gabriel Blau of Equality New York joined Judith Kasen-Windsor and LGBTQ activists to celebrate the life and legacy of Edie Windsor. They announced the Legislature’s introduction of a resolution commemorating Edie’s tireless advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ rights throughout the country. Edie was an LGBTQ rights activist and lead plaintiff in the monumental 2013 Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor which successfully overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. Lawmakers gathered to urge the Legislature to support legislation granting equal rights for all and continue the momentum Edie started. “Edie was, and always will be, an inspiration, icon and leader for the LGBTQ community and I am so fortunate to have known her,” said Assembly Member Seawright. “Her dedication and commitment to fighting for equal rights should serve as a reminder to all of us: when we fight for what is right, no matter how difficult the battle, we will prevail. I try to match her commitment to justice every single day in expanding equal rights protections under the law so all New Yorkers can thrive without fear of discrimination. I call on my colleagues to join me in honoring Edie’s legacy, not just with words, but by taking action on important legislation that will move our State forward.” “My beloved spouse, Edie Windsor, was a fighter. She held a steadfast belief for trailblazing action in pursuit of justice, equality and love,” said Judith Kasen-Windsor. “This recognition is a demonstration of how one person can claim their stake in life and transform its course for the greater good of mankind. There is no effort, action or person too small to effectuate great things we hold dear. Edie’s tenacity and determination did not just change my life, it changed the lives of hundreds of thousands in the LGBTQ community who only wanted to exercise their basic human right to love who they love. She was a shining beacon for all in this country who fought so hard to make marriage equality a reality. Edie Windsor’s legacy is a tremendous acknowledgement of how much each and every one of the LGBTQ community and allies meant to her, and how this community, through its activism and engagement, endures.” “The arc of justice bends forward only when it is pushed, and few pushed harder than Edie Windsor,” said Senator Hoylman. “Her fight for equal representation under the law irrevocably changed the lives of so many LGBTQ Americans, including my own. As we pause to celebrate her monumental legacy, let’s not forget how much still has to be done in the name of equality. So let’s roll up our sleeves, get to work, and keep on fighting – we owe it to Edie to do so.” “Defeating DOMA would be an incredible legacy for anyone, but Edie’s legacy is even more so,” said Gabriel Blau, Chair of Equality NY. “Throughout her life she pushed the limits and stood up for LGBTQ people, for youth, and for the dignity of all. She advocated for our LGBTQI youth and for true partnerships among our organizations. She has left an indelible mark on our work and we commit to honoring her legacy through our continued fight for equality and justice for all LGBTQI people. Today that commitment takes the form of a thoughtful and expansive legislative platform, and a network of advocates and organizations that represents all of the many communities and people that make up LGBTQI New Yorkers.” “Edie Windsor was an outstanding person who stood up and fought for what she believed in and changed our nation. Her fight for same-sex couples and her tireless advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community will always be remembered. I am so pleased that New York is commemorating her life and legacy,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. “Edie Windsor leaves behind a legacy of fierce activism that will continue to inspire the LGBTQ community for generations,” said Deborah Glick, Assembly Member for the 66th District. “Everyone who is now able to marry the person they love will never forget Edie, and everyone brave enough to fight against injustice will look up to her.” “Edie Windsor came to represent for me and I suspect for so many others, that the success of our gay rights movement is the result of courage and daring,” said Harry Bronson, Assembly Member for the 138th District. “During her Supreme Court case, United States v. Windsor, victory was not necessarily about the right to marry; it was about treating LGBTQI people as equals in the eyes of the law. Edie refused to stand on the sidelines and through her daring courage, helped those in our community take another important step toward full equality. For that, I am forever grateful for the person, work, and life of Edie Windsor.” “I’m proud that by honoring Edie, this resolution will forever remind and teach us of the LGBTQ struggle,” said Daniel O’Donnell, Assembly Member of the 69th District. “Edie’s federal fight was tremendously comforting and inspiring to those of us fighting at state levels for marriage equality. She will be deeply missed.” “Edie Windsor helped bend the arc of the moral universe towards justice for the LGBTQ community,” said Matthew Titone, Assembly Member of the 61st District. Since the New York State Legislature voted to legalize same-sex marriage in 2011, the State Senate has not taken up a single stand-alone bill advancing the civil rights of the LGBTQ community. While the New York State Assembly has reliably passed legislation every year furthering protections for the LGBTQ community, these efforts have stalled in the State Senate. Today’s resolution recognizing Edie’s commitment to equal rights under the law, not only celebrates the progress that has been made, but serves as a call to action for more progress to come.

Senator Brad Hoylman, Judith Kasen- Windsor and Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright.